Home at Last: Spurs Start with Nervy Win
More than 600 days have passed since Spurs said goodbye to the old White Hart Lane so there was a mixture of relief and excitement as fans assembled at the new stadium. Anyone who had seen the construction of the ground knew that something special would eventually arrive and that was certainly the case in these stunning surroundings.
Fortunately, the team had also read the script: A 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday night is a perfect outcome with two well-worked goals and a clean sheet but the first 45 minutes was certainly a nervous affair.
First Half Honours Even
The atmosphere was buoyant in the lead up to the game and when the teams walked out onto the pitch, it was truly a spine tingling moment. However, many of us supporters are a pessimistic bunch and we knew that Crystal Palace weren’t there just to make up the numbers. The Eagles had already beaten Tottenham in the FA Cup so would not be the stooges to our Harlem Globetrotters.
Then there was the question of our form – one point from a possible 15. It all meant that the atmosphere became decidedly more tense when the game got underway. Over 59,000 people witnessed the early exchanges and Palace nearly took the lead when old Tottenham adversary Jeffrey Schlupp fired over after being found in a good position.
From there, Spurs dominated possession but couldn’t find the back of the net. Christian Eriksen came closest as he tested Vicenta Guaitia but the teams were destined to go into the break at 0-0.
Nerves Settle after the Break
Everyone speculates as to who will be the first scorer at a new stadium and shortly after half time, we were given the answer. Harry Kane would have been the bookmakers’ market leader but it was fans’ favourite Son Heung-Min who stepped up to claim the honour.
55 minutes were on the clock when Harry Kane fed Son on the right wing and in what has become something of a trademark move, the South Korean cut inside and buried it in the left corner. It was Son’s first in seven matches and his seventeenth of the season but it may just turn out to be the most memorable strike of his career.
Spurs continued to dominate and were good value for their second goal which came courtesy of Christian Eriksen’s close range effort on 80 minutes. Afterwards, Christian Benteke’s miss denied Palace a chance to give Spurs a nervous finish and the hosts closed out the 2-0 win.
Son and Eriksen were the match winners but many observers gave the Man of the Match award to Dele Alli who was influential, pulling the strings and supplying Kane and Son from midfield.
Home at Last
After the game, current players, former players and team management all had their say on this historic occasion.
After his opening goal, Son Heung-Min stated:
It’s just amazing, the noise was just so loud.
Harry Kane kept it equally simple when he tweeted:
‘What a feeling to play and win in our new home.’
It was therefore left to former player Garth Crooks to sum things up more eloquently and his comments give a fitting end to this round up.
As the fans leave, the stadium takes on a different sense of beauty,
As the atmosphere started to build before kick off, it was very exciting and then there was one moment when 17,000 people to our right started to sing in unison.
It was emotional and it was a wonderful occasion and it’s important that Spurs won.
It’s official: Spurs are home.